The Blue Hen is set within the Adelphi Hotel, and has two sibling restaurants: Salt & Char and Morrisey’s. Like many siblings, they’re very good at very different things. The Blue Hen is swanning, feminine elegance, a merger of the hotel’s historic Victorian roots and modern aesthetic. The food here, is created using Old World techniques, but is filtered through the seasonal, farm-to-table, healthful lens of modern American epicureanism.
Elegant irreverence, je ne sais quoi.
Throw on a pair of oversized sunnies, and stride into the Blue Hen wearing slim vegan leather pants, or a Ferragamo blazer with a disco collar. Witty conversations, brimming with multi-layered references to politics and pop culture will ensue, and everyone around you will be doing the same.
The setting is equally rarified: one part English conservancy, one part Provencal country garden greenhouse: it’s light-filled, glass-encased, with gold accents, mirrors and patio-chic furniture. Speaking of patio-chic, there is a fantastic patio, with comfy chairs, plus a second bar, weather-permitting. (May we suggest kicking back with the Royal We, made with vermouth, carraway, grapefruit, cava and club soda?)
The wine list is a well-curated who’s who of classic Old World regions at a reasonable price. Bright rosés (we love the Commanderie de Peyrassol, a blend of Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah), vivacious reds (the Malbec made by the first woman of Argentinian wine Susan Balbo is a favorite) and sparklers (you can never go wrong with Taittinger) one would want with a menu like this. Craft beer (Frog Alley, LIC Beer Project, Fiddlehead) and well-made cocktails (their selection of sessional low-ABV cocktails like Scorched Earth Policy, with alpine liqueur, gentian aperitif, vermouth, lemon and cherry are particularly spot-on) are available too.
Breakfast, brunch, dinner and sushi are served here, and all of them are a #mood (the kind that pairs well with unicorn emojis). At breakfast, the chai spiced banana bread slathered in Nutella crema please; at brunch, the pastrami salmon benedict with sweet pickled radish and a pollen-infused hollandaise; for dinner, a roasted venison loin with roasted sprouts, morel mushrooms and sweet potato puree; for sushi, the French cake, with spicy salmon, avocado, yellowtail, salmon and multiple delicious sauces.
Everything here is pretty, from the setting to the plating, to the people who serve and dine here. It is, quite possibly, the most Instagrammable restaurant in Saratoga Springs, #justsaying.
Kathleen Willcox lives in Saratoga Springs with her husband and twins. She writes about the culture and politics of food and wine as well as travel and lifestyle; her work regularly appears in Wine Enthusiast, SevenFifty Daily and Edible Capital District.